Belfast Telegraph

Man admits knife attack killing of 'Good Samaritan' Fermanagh woman

Accused: Joseph Dolan
Accused: Joseph Dolan
Pauline Kilkenny

By Michael Donnelly

Cavan man Joseph Dolan has admitted stabbing Fermanagh woman Pauline Kilkenny to death.

The guilty plea was an unexpected development at court on Friday as Dolan admitted killing the "Good Samaritan" who took him in.

The 29-year-old, of no fixed abode, was due to go on trial in Dungannon on Monday accused of murdering the 59-year-old at her isolated bungalow sometime between November 4 and 16 2018.

He was also accused of stealing her Fiat Panda car, and implicating his former girlfriend in the killing.

However, at court on Friday defence QC James Gallagher asked for Dolan, who is from Cavan and has previous convictions for violence, to be re-arraigned before the Dungannon Crown Court, sitting in Belfast.

When the murder charge was put to Dolan he replied simply saying "not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility".

Prosecution QC Ciraran Murphy told Mr Justice Colton that they had the opportunity of considering psychiatric reports, and on the balance of those reports his manslaughter plea was accepted.

However, Mr Murphy added that they may be an addendum report, as there was the question of Dolan's dangerousness, which may also require oral evidence from one or other of the doctors.

Mr Justice Colton remanded Dolan back into custody for sentencing in the new year and said having seen reports he could "well see the merit and sense of the approach taken in this case".

Throughout the short proceedings Dolan sat in the dock with his head down and on being led out of court did not look in the direction of the public gallery just feet away, where Ms Kilkenny's sisters, brother-in-law and other family members were sitting.

Accused: Joseph Dolan
Accused: Joseph Dolan

No details surrounding the killing of Ms Kilkenny were given, however, it is understood she was stabbed up to 30 times, and battered in her isolated home, a mile off the Cornacully Road and halfway between Belcoo and Garrison.

Among the horrific wounds believed to have been inflicted were eight stab wounds to her head and neck, two to the right side of her torso and 20 stab wounds to her back. She also suffered a number of serious head injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

Ms Kilkenny, a keen animal lover, who often took in strays to care for, was found by her sister after concerns were raised when she did not show up for work.

She had booked off a few days from Lilley's Centra on the Lough Shore Road in Enniskillen, where she had worked for the previous two years.

Ms Kilkenny had provided a home for Dolan, who'd returned from the Irish Republic where he had 27 previous convictions, including for "violent disorder".

In January 2013 he was sentenced to three years for robbery and for beating a Drogheda pensioner "as hard as he could" with the victim's umbrella, and then hours later stabbing a local taxi driver.

Dolan, who threatened the driver he would slit his throat, ended up stabbing him a number of times when he struggled with him. The taxi driver was later treated for puncture wounds to the back of his neck and shoulder.

The Cavan man was homeless at the time and had written letters apologising to the taxi driver and the pensioner, and entered an early guilty plea which his lawyer said was "a genuine expression of remorse".

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